Recipe by Paula Shoyer

Pear Frangipane Tart (Passover)

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Parve Parve
Medium Medium
8-12 Servings


- Tree nuts - Egg


Special Equipment

  • silicone spatula

  • 8-inch (20-centimeter) tart or pie pan, or tart ring

  • sieve

  • pastry brush

Tart Crust

Poached Pears

  • 6 cups (1.4 liters) water

  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon Gefen Pure Vanilla Extract, or substitute 1/2 cup (100 grams) vanilla sugar for 1/2 of the regular granulated sugar

  • juice of 1 lemon

  • 3 firm Bosc or D’Anjou pears, about the same size and shape (important!)

Almond Cream

  • 5 tablespoons (71 grams) margarine, at room temperature

  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) ground blanched almonds

  • 1 tablespoon Gefen Potato Starch

For the Finished Tart


Prepare the Crust


In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place the ground almonds, confectioners’ sugar, and potato starch and process for 10 seconds. Add the margarine pieces and process for another 10 seconds, or until the mixture resembles sand. Add the water, egg yolk, and vanilla and process just until the dough comes together.


Gather into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and flatten into a disc.


Chill in the freezer for three hours or overnight.

Poach the Pears


In a medium saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and vanilla to a boil. Meanwhile, place the lemon juice in a shallow bowl. Slice off the very bottom and very top of each pear and peel. Halve the pears from stem to bottom. With a half-teaspoon measuring spoon or melon-baller, starting at the top of one pear half, gently scoop out the thin vein that runs from the top to the bottom, the core, and the seeds. Try to retain the shape of the pear. Repeat with the remaining pear halves. As each pear half is prepared, place it into the lemon juice and turn to coat.


When the poaching liquid has come to a boil, add the pears to the pot and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 25 minutes, or until the tip of a sharp knife slides easily into the inside of one of the pear halves; do not cut through.


Let the pears cool in the saucepan and then transfer them to a bowl with one or two ladles of the poaching liquid. May be made three days in advance and chilled, covered, in the fridge.

Prepare the Almond Cream


With an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the margarine on medium speed until soft. Add the sugar, ground almonds, and potato starch and beat again. Add the egg and vanilla. Increase the mixer speed to high and whip until the mixture is light and airy, about one minute.


May be made three days in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.

Prepare the Tart


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.


Place the pear halves on paper towels to dry. Place an eight-inch (20-centimeter) tart pan, with or without a removable bottom, on a cookie sheet.


If you do not have a rolling pin, take pieces of dough, flatten them between your hands, and press them into the tart pan to cover the bottom and sides, as evenly as you can. To use a rolling pin, sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with confectioners’ sugar. Place the dough on top of the paper, sprinkle the dough with more confectioners’ sugar, and cover with another piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough until it is an inch (two and a half centimeters) larger than the pan. Remove the top parchment. Place your hand under the bottom parchment, lift the dough and turn it over into the tart pan. Use your fingers to press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan, patching up any holes with extra dough. Roll the rolling pin on top of the pan to trim off the excess dough. You can shape the crust several days in advance and store in the freezer until ready to assemble the tart.


To assemble the tart, use a silicone spatula to spread the almond cream evenly on the bottom of the tart crust, all the way to the corners. Place each pear half on a small cutting board and use a small, sharp knife to cut crosswise into 1/4-inch (six millimiter)-thick slices (do not slice lengthwise from stem to base).


Use a metal flat-blade spatula to carefully pick up the entire sliced pear half (being careful to retain shape of the pear) and place on top of the cream, stem side facing toward the center. Repeat with the next pear half, placing it across from the first, the stem sides facing each other. Carefully place the remaining halves on the almond cream, spacing them evenly. With your finger, gently fan each pear from the center to the sides of the pan.


Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden-brown. Slide the tart pan onto a cooling rack to cool. If you used a tart pan with a removable bottom or a ring, lift the tart out onto a serving plate when cool.


To serve, warm the apricot jam in the microwave for 15 seconds. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the baked almond cream and then brush the pears with the jam. Store, covered, at room temperature.


Dough may be frozen; pears may be poached and almond cream may be made three days in advance; tart may be made one day in advance.


©️Paula Shoyer, reprinted with permission from The New Passover Menu (Sterling Epicure 2015)

Pear Frangipane Tart (Passover)

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1 year ago

Can I substitute almond oil for the margarine both in the tart and almond cream?

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